NATIONAL NEWS - With Easter falling on the first weekend of April this year, South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) beneficiaries will have to wait a few days extra in order to access their grants after the Good Friday and Family Day public holidays.
Also in April, the extended Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant of R350 a month, will come to an end. In his State of the Nation address in February, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the Covid-19 emergency benefit would be extended for three months only.
“This has proven to be an effective and efficient short-term measure to reduce the immediate impact on the livelihoods of poor South Africans,” he said during the address.
There is no set payment date for the R350 SRD grant, with the agency saying that successful applicants will receive payment from 8 April 2021 onwards.
At the end of February, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, said 9.7 million people had applied for the grant. About 6 million beneficiaries were receiving the emergency stipend. By the end of April, the department estimates that it would have distributed R22 billion.
The grant payout dates are:
- Older persons: Tuesday, 6 April 2021,
- Disability grants: Wednesday, 7 April 2021, and
- Children’s grants: Thursday, 8 April 2021.
This week, Sassa said there has been a hiccup in Government’s pension system: “Our Social Pensions system is experiencing connectivity problems. Our technicians are working flat out to return it to normality. Please accept our sincere apologies. We will inform you soon as we are back online.”
Following the communiqué via Twitter on Thursday, the agency did not clarify if pension payments would be affected.
Stolen Sassa cards recovered
The SA Police Service (Saps) issued a statement on Saturday, saying that they had recovered a considerable number of stolen Sassa cards in Bloemfontein on Friday.
Preliminary investigations, Saps said, found that the cards “linked to a business robbery case where four unknown suspects forced entry at a Post Office in Bainsvlei and stole seven boxes containing 14 000 Sassa Post Bank Cards”.
A man was arrested after he dropped a bag containing two of the boxes, following a police operation.
“The 34-year-old suspect from Rocklands in Bloemfontein will appear in Bloemfontein Magistrates’ court soon for possession of suspected stolen property,”the Office of the Provincial Commissioner of Free State, said.